Christ-consciousness

“Christ consciousness cannot be said to truly exist—for you—until you create it within yourself.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 110)

We do create Christ-consciousness within ourselves, for this is where God is. And He makes the decision of when our subconscious mind and heart have been cleansed sufficiently for this blessing to descend upon us. We do remove the blocks of fear and judgment, ourselves; this comes from A Course of Love.

Can we hurry the process along? Yes, we can. When we turn to God more and more in our everyday life, we are hurrying the process along. When we meditate, we open a channel for His grace to pour into us.

But we already know these things. It is up to us to cultivate the mind slant that will invite Christ-consciousness to descend. Then, in a very important sense, it is out of our hands. If the way seems long, we must know that this idea might be wrong. There is much we simply do not know. But one thing we do know is that in this time of Christ, it is easier to reach Christ-consciousness.

We reach it from living in our everyday world, but with our heart in the clouds.

Reverence for the Mystery that Is Life

“Now, does that mean that one should become cold-hearted, unconscious, and blind to . . . [others’] actions? Of course not, for part of awakening means to realize one’s interconnection with the web of all relationships. It means awakening a reverence for the mystery that is Life.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 107)

Many, many people haven’t awakened yet; in fact, most people have not. But some have seen glimpses of what lies ahead, and what lies ahead in an ineffable atmosphere of love in calmness. We may see clearly, but we do not denounce the actions of others, even the actions with which we disagree. We all need to be given slack.

We recognize that reverence is required of us as we walk in God’s way. This much we know. Life is a great mystery, and it behooves us to speak softly as we talk of this mystery.

We are connected to all people. When we give slack, we also give slack to ourselves—and this means forgiveness of others and ourselves as well. It is a web, an allusion that Jesus uses in A Course of Love also.

Ask today to have an awakening to the mystery that is Life.

And we will have a spectacular day.

Jesus: “I Come because I Love You”

“I come because I love you. I come because I am your friend. . . .I come to abide with you to bridge the gap that seems to yet separate you from me.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 106)

Jesus is here affirming that he comes to us because of love in his heart for us. It is akin to the reassurance, given in A Course in Miracles, that he will come to us upon hearing a “single, unequivocal call.”

Jesus does not want too much dependence in our relationship to him, though. He wants us to access our power, which is given us by God, Who dwells deep within. When our strength is diminished, he will comfort and console. But always he seeks to strengthen us by his presence, not to make us think that we are weak.

There seems to be a gap between Jesus and ourselves because he seems to have gone so far ahead of us. But he says elsewhere that there is nothing that he has that we cannot attain, and even go further. Yet, still, while we are in this world, he is our “big brother,” always there to cheer us on, to lead us gently and with compassion.

In A Course of Love, Jesus ceases to be our teacher, and becomes just the companion that we have long wished to have. He is our partner in this enterprise of Awakening and moving into Christ-consciousness. This is the next step for us, and his careful channeling in several works has paved the way for us to have this next step in our evolution.

We are heading back to God, Whom we actually never left.

Choose Again

“What you will experience in your tomorrows is only the effect of which pebbles you are choosing to drop into the field of your awareness as thoughts now.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 104)

We often don’t think we are in control of our thoughts, but if not us, then who? It takes great patience to watch our thoughts, but do it we must, if we are to have good days. What we focus on, our awareness of what is in our world, determines what we see. Choose carefully, for our awareness will bring those things focused upon into our little world.

We can choose anew at any time. Let’s do so today if regretful things crowd into our minds and hearts. Spend a moment or two reassessing what we wish to have in our experience. Then choose again.

That is all.

Eat Only Good Fruit to Heal the Separation from God

“No one ever told you, and your Creator never insisted, that you eat of the tree of good and evil. For all good fruit has been given you freely. And you are always free to choose which fruit you will eat thereof.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 103)

Here The Way of Mastery, which many believe was channeled by Jesus, he says that Genesis in the Bible got it wrong. We didn’t have to eat “apples” of the tree of good and evil; that was a misunderstanding. In terms of the recently channeled works, we see that separation from God was never foreordained; we could have done it differently. But now we are to eat only good fruit, which means that we are to heal the separation, something that the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Self prepares us for.

How do we heal the (illusory) separation? We go within and commune with our God Who lives in our depths. We have never been externalized, something that we have long misunderstood. We remove the blocks to the awareness of love, as another channeled work, The Course of Love, says. These blocks are fear and judgment, something that is within our power, with help, to turn aside from.

Let’s turn aside from fear and judgment today. Of course, this is easier said than done, and it is impossible unless we turn to our depths. We simply turn, with our awareness, inward, over and over, asking and receiving help.

Eventually we heal the subconscious depths. As each negativity is brought to the surface, we heal because we have the knowledge of what is holding us back. We walk into the sunlight with God, Jesus holding our hand.

There is no better way to live. When the time is right, God Himself will reach down and us up into enlightenment, Awakening, Christ-consciousness—all words for the same ineffable transformation.

In the meantime, we will catch glimpses of Awakening, and these will happen when we are in a particularly receptive frame of mind/heart. Then the glimpses will elongate, and God Himself will act to take us unto His heart with transformation.

Expand Our Heart to the Fullest

“The only difference has been that I learned to train myself, hour by hour, to drop only unlimited pebbles, that send out vibrations of unconditional acceptance and Love, forgiveness, unconditional and unbridled vision and revelation, while you have selected to do that only a few times.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 103)

The metaphor here is of pebbles being dropped into a pool that is our very being. If we drop unconditional acceptance, of ourselves and others; Love; forgiveness, etc., then we will walk a green earth. If we are stingy with our “pebbles” being dropped in our pool, we will know dissatisfaction and all the ills that this world can visit upon us.

Our vision will show us the way; it is revelation from God. Make a decision today to expand our heart to the fullest, to drop unlimited pebbles into our pool. Jesus has shown the way, and he would have us do so, also. If we train ourselves to experience with our heart, we will be well on the way to a new heaven and new earth.

Our heart does not need proof of God’s existence. Our heart just knows. And we will know when we listen to what our heart tells us. We will know unconditional acceptance, Love, forgiveness, and all the rest mentioned in this quotation.

We will be walking straight back to the heart of God. Let’s walk a smooth pathway, sure of our steps, focused on our aim.

At Death We Merely Leave One Room & Step into Another

“Would you call it a death when you leave one room and close the door behind you and step into another room? Of course not. You just say, ‘I was there; now I am here.’ That is all that truly occurs when the molecules you have called to yourself are unglued because you release your value of them, and their constituents, their parts, dissolve back into the dust or the energy field of the planet. You merely leave one room and step into another.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 100)

This understanding of death is so reassuring and so important to us. So many people don’t believe that we continue as a recognizable personality when we cross the barrier of death. This makes of death an ogre, and it pains my heart to know that so many are so lost in fear when it comes to mortality.

Thanks to Jesus in The Way of Mastery for making this clear. His appearance in the graveyard wasn’t enough for many people. People come to understanding in very many ways. I hope that this quotation will lead many who view my blog to a blessed understanding.

This eternity can be joyous when we realize that it is one continuous tapestry to living, here and in the hereafter.

Make the Decision to Be Alive

“Surrender, then, is the process in which you finally relent; you give up resisting the fact of your very existence. You stop whining about it. You stop lamenting it. You stop worrying about it. You make the decision to get on with being alive! And what is alive about you is going to be alive forever. There is no place to hide and nowhere to go.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 99)

We need to drop the past, with its laments, and march steadfastly into the future, pausing in moment-to-moment awareness of what “is.” This will get us where we want to go, which is deep in the heart of God. Our surrender to Him makes all the difference. It is the mechanism of healing. It is the way home.

All too often we do “whine,” as Jesus says. We regret that we don’t always feel chipper; we have our aches and pains that take us from thankfulness for the lives that we have been given.

But there is a way out, and this quotation gives it. We just get on with being alive; we just get on with living! We deemphasize the parts of our lives that we find undesirable, and we walk into the sunshine of a new day with emphasis on what is right.

That is all. We have the panacea for all life’s ills, here in this one quotation. We do live eternally, and the best place to start our eternal life is always and only Now.

I, Alone, Am the Literal Creator of My Moment-to-Moment Experience

“If you would choose to awaken wholly, if you would choose not just to be a wave that has mysteriously arisen from the ocean, if you would choose to be more than just another soul that has arisen from the Mind of God and is, somehow, crashing about through the universe, it is absolutely necessary to own, as your own, the pebble that drops into the still, clear pool of your awareness with the thought:

“I am the one who chooses the effects I experience.

“I, alone, interpret all neutral relationships or experiences.

“I, alone, place the value upon objects, things, thoughts, and belief systems.

“I, alone, am the literal creator of my moment-to-moment experience.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 97)

We are the creators of our experience, though I believe this is often on an unconscious level, with the inner Christ-Self calling the shots. Surely we don’t knowingly bring bad things to ourselves, and something bad things happen. This is one of the puzzles of the universe. But we need not blame God; indeed, we must not blame God. I believe He is a God of love, just like Jesus has been saying. We can’t always recognize Love, even when it in right before our eyes, hits us in the face.

“I am the one who chooses the effects I experience.” Yes! We can believe this, because we know that our attitude toward the happenings in our lives makes all the difference. This is a “creating our own reality” that we can understand, not a puzzle of the universe at all.

“I, alone, am the literal creator of my moment-to-moment experience.” Yes, we are, even when bad things happen. We don’t understand, can’t understand in this world. But I think we will understand in the next.

In the meantime, our lives on earth, let us place no blame, and blame no victims. We don’t know what the soul of anybody is really trying to do, and the soul is that all-embracing Self of Whom the inner Christ-Self is a part.

Be Aware

“Therefore, look upon that which resides within your awareness, within your consciousness. What are the things that you know that you know? What are the things that you would avoid? What are the feelings that you have not explored? What are the objects, the people, the places, the values that you strive for, that seem to thrill even the cells of the body? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 94)

Jesus is here asking us to have self-awareness, and surely self-awareness helps us to live good lives. If we know our inner being, we come a long way toward functioning well in the world. And in a better world that we will create, as A Course of Love says.

What are we sure we know? There may actually be very little of which we are very sure. Our egoic worlds have been turned upside down with our new reading, the new channelings of Jesus. And we may take some time to settle down. Let’s ask for Jesus’ blessing to eliminate our confusion, if it is confusion. We need to realize that the old egoic nonsense is truly gone, that we are living in the Christ-Self Who will function in a new way in a new world.

What would we avoid? Top on our list of what to avoid is surely a return to the ego. Pray that the egoic patterns will cease to enthrall us. Pray that we not return to the pit of egoic despair that we used to know.

What are our feelings? These feelings are highly important as we seek to create a new world. Let intuition rule our lives. Test out the insights, and I am sure that you will find that intuition is the very best way to live. It is the panacea to all ills.

What thrills us? That which speaks to our very core with happiness/joy is what we ought to pursue, for God placed in our minds and hearts the best ways, to be determined by the joy that we feel. Don’t forget to thank Him as we encounter joy on our everyday rounds.

Live today in the thrill of knowing that we will not return to our old ways of the ego.

We are walking ahead to a new day, a new day in a new world.

Jesus: “I Am with You Always”

“Beloved and holy friends, may peace be with you always. . . . Remember, there’s a perfectly good reason why I keep saying, time and again, ‘I am with you always.’ Amen.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 92)

Jesus is a part of our Self, the Self Whom we all share. Her consciousness is not really separate from ours. These ideas are well-developed in A Course of Love. It helps us to understand what is really going on when Jesus is channeling to one of his scribes. Their mind and heart does not really disappear.

We can imagine him as he was 2,000 years ago, but he would rather that we see him in a more all-encompassing way, a way that he shares with us as the Big Brother we may not have had before.

There is a well-known passage in A Course in Miracles in which Jesus assures us that he is holding our hand as we walk along on the pathway to salvation, the pathway to Awakening. I have often quoted this passage in this blog, in which Jesus affirms that this thought will be no “idle fantasy.”

Reassuring in the extreme, it may mean that Jesus has infinite foci of consciousness. Or it may mean that his Consciousness and ours join in the God of Whom we are a part. Or may be a both/and statement. Don’t let theology delay us. It is not necessary for us to enjoy a true and real experience of Jesus and of God.

Jesus says, “I am with you always.” Can we not just take him at his word? And cease our efforts to be alone and lonely? Our friend is here with us, for it will come on a “single unequivocal call” (from A Course in Miracles).

If in difficulty, call today. And be reassured when anxieties and depression fall by the wayside.

Journey within the Kingdom Begins Anew

“Rest assured, when the journey to the Kingdom is completed, the journey within it begins anew. The bliss, the wisdom, the creativity, the laughter, the friendships, the family, the joy, the serenity, and the peace—that have been, for the most part, seen as an impossible dream—will become your most ordinary state of being.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 91)

If we can only believe what Jesus is saying here, we will have hope for an ever-better life. Would we not all want that, even if the life we have now seems pretty OK?

A Course of Love says that ordinary people will begin living extraordinary lives, and in that transition, our friends will wonder what has happened to us, why are we different? Let’s hope for an extraordinary life today. If we follow the wisdom that Jesus offers in his newly channeled works—A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery—we will have a new life in our grasp.

In many cases, we already know what we do. Yet we often don’t put that knowing into everyday practice, because our old habits of living poorly do drag us down.

Ask today to put our knowing into practice. Jesus has taught us wisely, and eventually we come to see that even he is a companion rather than a teacher. Walk with him today. Be assured that he holds our hand as we walk along. He has promised this (from A Course in Miracles), and he says that imagining that he holds our hand is no “idle fantasy.”

Be sure to say “thank you” to the one who thinks of us always. Our leader, our savior from the snares of what we would avoid, Jesus himself. Instead, we can have bliss, wisdom, creativity, laughter, friendships, family, joy, serenity, peace—all!

With blessings like this, we will never look back.

AMAZING COMMENTARY ON A COURSE OF LOVE

Note: Published on Amazon. To be published in Miracles magazine, January – February 2020 issue.

LOVE ON THE MOUNTAIN, by Laurel Elstrom
Review by Celia Hales

Love on the Mountain is a big book, a glorious book, that focuses upon the Forty Days and Forty Nights of the Dialogues of A Course of Love. Laurel Elstrom has climbed the mountain, first a journey for herself and friends, and now makes another climb, this one for us. And she found Jesus there, at the top.

If we have been puzzled by the Forty Days and Forty Nights, now we have help, outstanding help. Through a variety of reading aids–including a challenge for each “day,” quotations from ACOL, “inquiries,” practices, meditations, and a final section for each day entitled, “Go Deeper”—we are led ever more completely toward understanding what our trek toward Christ-consciousness really means. The experience of Awakening comes alive, our questions find answers. Laurel asks the difficult questions, and then she answers them in words that cull from ACOL the most precise meaning.

I interpret the consistent theme of Love on the Mountain: A Guide to Self-Discovery to be a constantly expanding awareness of living our experiences, without doing anything to distract us from experience or to soften life’s blows. This way of viewing the Forty Days and Forty Nights works well, for we are leaving behind a separated life (from God) and joining others in unity. Our differentiated human form is elevating, becoming the elevated Self of form, the new term that we use for our awakened mind and heart.

Laurel recommends that we work with her book in conjunction with ACOL, reading each day’s lesson first, and then moving on to her commentary. This guide can work well in either a study group or individually. In a study group, one chapter a week would normally work best. The reading aids in Laurel’s book are short and to the point, well-suited to reading aloud (as one is asked to do with A Course of Love itself). I can envision lively discussions as those of us who love ACOL are teased out of thought and into our heart in an effort to get at the “true” meaning of the text. In individual study, the various reading aids fit our short attention spans, giving us a “bite” of knowledge that we can assimilate without difficulty.

Love on the Mountain is easily digested because it is well-written. Yet the meaning is deep, and there are layers and layers of meaning, as befits a guide to ACOL. Laurel has succeeded admirably in elucidating ACOL prose, often using examples and terms from daily life that give us something to peg a meaning to.
Laurel Elstrom is a writer, teacher, and spiritual coach who has contributed to The Bridge, The Embrace, and The Miracle Worker. She has 108 YouTube videos covering each chapter in A Course of Love. She also has 30 years’ experience as a facilitator of groups studying A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. This book was beta-tested in several study groups for A Course of Love, and so here we have a compilation of “what works.”

Several years in the making, Love on the Mountain succeeds in what it set out to do. It guides readers of A Course of Love to and from the mountain of Self-discovery, the climb that will make life different than it has ever been before. Laurel has a natural acceptance of our clay feet, and her reassuring words as we make an attempt to scale the mountain lead us to love A Course of Love all the more. She says, though, not to struggle. The end of separation from God, the next leap in human/divine embodiment—the elevated Self of form in Christ-consciousness or Awakening–is not a difficult pathway. We are returning home, the place we never actually left.

I recommend Laurel Elstrom’s Love on the Mountain enthusiastically and with love for what it can do for our journey to Christ-consciousness. In conjunction with A Course of Love, we have in Love on the Mountain the perfect text to accompany us to and from the mountain.

Presence of Love

“I know the way home because I have completed the journey, and I will show you the way. With every word that I utter, my one intent is to reveal to you the place within you that is the presence of Love that you seek.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 91)

If we believe that Jesus has channeled The Way of Mastery, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, we know that he has shown us the way home to God. And we believe that he made the journey that is now before us.

Jesus always acts from Love, and it behooves us to do so also. It is sometimes difficult to wrap our minds around “love,” because we have so many connotations to this word in our world. If we let our hearts speak to us, though, we will be in better shape as we contemplate Love. This is a great solution to every difficulty, just letting our hearts tell us what to do, say, even think. Our heart knows the Answers, when we in our mind do not. The primacy of the heart is a focal point in A Course of Love.

Cultivate the presence of Love today by leaning into our heart. Our heart is One, for we are One in God. Jesus’ every intent is to take us home by offering us a taste of the presence of Love.

Accept his offer today.

“Be Willing to Have It So”

“Imagine, then, living in a state of being in which literally nothing was unacceptable to you because you knew that the Source of your true being was far beyond the limitations of anything created in space and time.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 90)

Nothing may be “unacceptable,” but this sentence doesn’t mean that we won’t work to change things that seem troublesome. For life to be acceptable, we mean that we are “willing to have it so,” that nothing must change for us to live life fully. This is a great secret of life, something I once read in Joseph Campbell. Joseph had been advised by a guru not to struggle so in life. Surely struggle is not a pleasant way to be.

Our Source is God Himself, far beyond limitations in time and space. When we make our home in God, we will live in true acceptance of whatever we do find on the earth plane. It is only after we have “accepted” that we can make meaningful change for the better. To fight against “what is” is to make unnecessary adjustments in trying to live in this world.

We aren’t asked to fight against ordinary reality. We are not asked, ever, to fight against anything. Our way is to find that which is positive, good, and peaceful. When we reach for the peaceful, we accept, and when we reach for the positive, we make meaningful change without struggle.

“Be willing to have it so.” By our very acceptance of the ordinary moments in our day, we pave the way for a better future.

We touch God in such moments.

Live Effortlessly & Love Effortlessly

“Stop wasting your energy trying to love God. That will not do it for you. Stop wasting so much energy trying to learn how to love another. That will not do it for you. And for God’s sake, please refrain from all attempts to get anyone to believe that you love them!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 89)

Why would Jesus say such things? It is because when we “try,” effort is involved, and the new way of thinking, with the heart leading, is effortless.

We may find this hard to believe, because the ego has had us on a treadmill for a very long time. Yet we can believe it. It does take some adjustment on our part, because habit if strong. We are so used to struggling and striving that we don’t know what it means to relax in God’s grace. Relaxing in God’s grace is exactly what we are now called to do.

Do we wish that we could make other believe that we love them? This is wasted effort. When we center in ourselves, and just love—not “try” to love—we soon are blessed with the knowledge (and it is knowledge, not perception) that all is well, and that we living in a love-filled world.

Love, by itself, is enough to heal. And healing is what we need above all else. We can have this healing for the asking. Relax, don’t press, rest in God.

We have so much on our “to do” list. We prioritize, with effort. And then we mark off our accomplishments. This is the ego talking. Do we really think that marking off accomplishments on a “to do” list is the way to live? There is no end to it. That’s the rub. Live more internally. Let the next right thing find us.

If we cease our struggles always to “do the right thing” on our “to do” list, we will find that that right thing, miraculously, does find us.

There Is NO Need to Crucify One’s Self

“You already know what crucifixion is all about. You have done it to yourself a million times in ways far worse than a mere nail driven through the hand that creates a little twinge of pain. Hell is nothing more than the state of being rutted, or stuck, in the process of crucifying one’s Self, which is the attempt to murder and destroy what God has created out of Love.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 89)

We truly are our own worst enemy. What we have done to ourselves, when we feel besieged with problems, in angst over minor matters, obsessing about trivialities.

Of course, some problems are acute and more severe than others.

But there is an Answer to that as well. We need not crucify ourselves, as Jesus is saying we do. We can turn to the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ-Self to rectify our difficulties. Any difficulty will lighten when we know that there is a Higher Power—God Himself—who is right there with us, helping us always. And God is always with us, helping us. We need never to forget this. We don’t externalize God anymore, for He is in our depths. We are a part of Him. This certainty is enough to take us through the worst turmoil.

Just remember: We are doing this to ourselves. We can have joy instead of suffering and pain. We don’t have to endure, in agony, all alone.

Let the difficulty rest lightly on one’s mind and heart. Rise above it. Know that we are doing this unto ourselves, when we wallow in pain, turning it into suffering.

What a waste!

There is an Answer. Turn to God, always and forever.

The Divine Is Living through Us in Each Moment

“So what do you want? . . . Peace or the ability to simply drug yourself with triviality? Imagine. . .all power under Heaven and Earth flowing through you with every breath. . .the divine is [living]. . . through you in each moment. And you get to marvel at the creativity of Love, the very same Love that moves the sun and the moon and the stars. Now that is a delightful pastime!” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 88)

Sometimes we need to think of happy things, and the quotation for today leads us in this direction. To “marvel at the creativity of Love”! Yes!

We often try to distract ourselves when we are hurting, but distraction is not always the best way to spend our time. We don’t need to “drug” ourselves with “triviality.” The Divine is living through us every minute, something that we don’t often consider. I do sometimes say that I want to give my “goddess” a good day. And then it seems that my mood lifts. The Deity has no gender, but He/She is deep within each of us, and that Deity influences our every move as the “gods” and “goddesses” that we are, the Self personified.

This is not an appeal to the ego. A Course of Love says that as we travel along the pathway back to God, the ego “is gone.” When we have made a concerted effort over the years to avoid egotism, then we need to rest in God’s grace, believing—and knowing—that he has heard our prayer to relinquish the ego.

Yes, “all power under Heaven and Earth” is “flowing through” us “with every breath.” We have enough to think about today if we just remember that.

God lives through us. Do we not want to give Him a good day?

God Lives In & Through Us

“You will learn what it means to trust what is birthed in the heart. And you will arise and you will go forth without fear. . . . And the whole while you will know that of yourself you do nothing, but the Father, through you, can do anything.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 87 – 88)

Our Father, God Himself, is living through us, for we are inseparably linked; we are a part of Him. And it is He Who does the works. When we try to accomplish things, we often fail. God does not fail. If we ask with truth in our minds and hearts, being willing to hear what the Holy Spirit tells us, our propensity to make mistakes will diminish. We will be on the beam, for we are finally listening to guidance. The Holy Spirit does not make mistakes, and so why on earth would we fail to follow advice like His.

Our heart will tell us what the guidance is. The heart, as the center of each of us, feels rather than thinks. We know that our minds can lead us wrong, but the heart, when listening rightly to the Holy Spirit, never leads us wrong. Even things when seem wrong at the time will eventually be recognized as right all along.

Creativity surges through us when we are aligned with God. And God can do just anything.

We best live our lives when we acknowledge our dependence on God, our complete dependence on His guidance as present in and through our Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Listen today. Notice that our mistakes fall away.

Sea of Peace

“Each sane moment that you have experienced. . . each moment of grace-filled joy that you have ever known. . .has come because you have allowed your mind to slip into the sea of peace. There you have merely abided, empty, wanting nothing, seeking nothing, being merely the presence of what you are.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

When we are living sane moments, we are fully and completely in a state of peace. It is the “peace of God that passeth understanding.” And we live in an unlimited fashion, with true intimacy with our significant others, in joy. There is no better way to live.

Make no mistake about it: We have been in madness for a very long time. Of course, our secular world would not call us mad and we wouldn’t be certifiably insane. But still when the ego is dominant in our minds, we are living an insane life. It is only when we make repeated gestures to turn aside from the ego, that glimpses of Awakening start to dawn on our previously deluded minds, and sanity also begins to dawn.

We have stopped seeking at such times. Seeking, too, can be an obsessive compulsion, and this too is insane. We need to simply be who we are, no persona, no “ideal” state of mind as we try to be what we are not. We are “good enough” as we are. Sure, we still make mistakes, but God loves His children even as they falter and fall.

We may not believe that we are good enough as we are. And we can improve our persona, but the truth is that we are still innocent creatures of God. Mistakes only, not uncorrectable “sins.” And as we move to correct our mistakes, we accept ourselves better. We come to believe that maybe we truly are “alright.”

And we are. Just as we are.

Simply Be the Presence of Love

“Do not strive to heal this world. Do not do anything to make a show of how much you love another. Give up the concept of being a busy bee. Simple be the presence of Love. . . .” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

What busy bees we are! We think that if we don’t walk in full steam ahead, we will miss something. We think that others will get ahead of us. This is competitiveness, and competitiveness is never as good as cooperation. We need to rest in God’s love, in the presence of Love, ceasing to strive—for what, we don’t know.

When we turn to God, He will direct our steps through the Holy Spirit. We will know what next right thing to do. The pressure will be off. The alchemy has happened; the iron has turned to gold. We see the true gold shining in the Light, not fool’s gold now. We know whereof we speak; we speak with Love.

If we continue in relentless struggle, we will miss the mark. God does not make extravagant demands on us. He, through the Holy Spirit, shows us one small step at a time.

It is enough.

“I See that It’s Safe to Choose Again”

“When you give another the truth—perhaps even without saying a word—because all minds are joined, they recognize what has been offered and say to themselves. . . ‘I see that it’s safe to choose again.’ That is when miracles occur.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

We want miracles. If in difficulty, we can turn aside from this difficulty immediately just by saying, “I want a miracle.” We can’t choose the time nor the place of the miracle, but we will be answered. Miracles abound when we are open to them.

When we allow guidance in this manner of miracles, we see how we can help our brothers and sisters. They will know safety in their midst, when we have turned to the Holy Spirit or Jesus in telling us which miracles to promote. We are not meant to be alone in this world, a solitary, self-sufficient individual who often feels lonely and discontented in our aloneness. We are meant to be one with others. And this fosters a cooperation that will give us joy.

Choose today to be one with our brothers and sisters. They will see the difference. We will see the difference.

We fancy that even angels smile when we have made this choice.

Conflict in the Workplace

“For when you know that you are holiness itself, how could you ever look upon your brother or sister and believe that they have wronged you? How could you ever want to do anything but love them? That is, let the Love of Christ flow through you so deeply and so profoundly that they get that you do not believe their illusion.” (WOM, Lesson 7, Page 86)

I once had a difficult relationship with a co-worker. She denounced my work, and indeed myself, in a peer review that was very disheartening. And I cast a deciding peer vote that she would not get the managerial position that she sought.

We were really doing it to each other. Or were we? We were actually doing it to ourselves, creating our own reality. Using each other as pawns. As foils one to the other.

We are all holiness itself, not as finite creatures who make mistakes, but as children of God. She did not “wrong” me, though I believed this for years. I sought to forgive her, but the words seemed stuck in my throat. And what, I wonder, was she thinking all those years?

What was going on here, but that we were both getting an unforgiveness “cooked”? We were healing something else that was buried deep within our subconscious. We needed to realize that we were lost in ego, both of us. And when she criticized my work, my ego cried out for redress. When I stopped her advancement, I was hurting her ego.

Yes, the ego is constantly being undone.

We really did each other a great service. We were even in our misguided efforts to hurt another.

We know better now. The ego has fallen away, the holiness that we both embody has cleansed us of past deeds and past thoughts to hurt.

Illusions actually hurt nobody. It is all just like a mirage. Holiness trumps illusion every time.

God Is Listening

In the midst of some journey, you paused. And as a raindrop fell upon a leaf and your eyes looked upon that experience, you felt and knew that you were one with the leaf and the raindrop, and that, indeed, you were those things. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 84)

We live so unconsciously. Yet we ought to expand upon our mystical experiences, not dismiss them.

We have all had many mystical experiences that, if given the chance, would be healing to us. We have unfinished business with one of our brothers and sisters, an unforgiveness that just won’t let up. We don’t know how to end the problem, and so we drop it deeper in our subconscious, where it festers out of sight.

These are the healing moments, when we have realized that the other is actually one with us. Just as the leaf and the raindrop are one with us.

We are not separate and alone in this world, never can be, never will be. Living mystically, really experiencing the bliss of a moment of Oneness, is healing in the extreme. We must not turn aside from these mystical moments as though we are afraid of them. We need to welcome these mystical moments into our awareness, for doing so will give us a sense of God that we can get no other way.

Open ourselves to such experiences today. Indeed, ask for them.

We will know that God is listening, and responding.

Take Today the Journey that Will Lead to God

Note: Today I am returning to The Way of Mastery (also known as The Christ Mind Trilogy). The Way of Mastery has proved to be very popular on this blog. – Celia

“How many journeys have there been? . . .How many lifetimes, how many worlds, before a light began to dawn, so imperceptibly at first that it was not recognized? And a tiny voice whispered from a place that seemed so far removed from where you dwelt:

“Beloved son, you are with me now.
“You remain as I have created you to be.
“Therefore, be at peace. You are loved.

“The voice seemed so far way, so faint, that surely, it could not be your own. Surely, it was just a moment’s fantasy.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 83 – 84)

This “tiny voice” is hearing from the Holy Spirit. His voice seems tiny, because we have not tuned in to listen to Him. We seemed to be far removed from Him.

But He is speaking to us now. Finally He has our attention. We can imagine that He is glad. We have spent lifetimes running from God, and He would not have it so.

Cease going around and around like that. It is like a broken record on a stereo. We don’t need to run away anymore. God will not hurt us! It is delighted that we are turning to Him!

Let the light dawn ever brighter in our experience. We need to open the aperture ever so slightly. When the light is brighter, we will know the truth: that it is of God. Then we will be in a better position to create our lives in better and better ways.

In all those lifetimes, we have changed things only in illusion. And now is the time to approach true reality. Let that tiny voice be magnified in our ears.

Let the Holy Spirit speak to us today.

We Are Equal in God’s Sight as His Children

Now you must forget the idea of needing to maintain specialness. A key aid in helping you to put this temptation behind you is the idea of the holy relationship in which all exist in unity and within the protection of love’s embrace. (ACOL, T3:16.15)

Let us realize that being special, even to ourselves, never gave us anything that we wanted. A few others may have found us special also, but most everyone else resented the competitiveness that thought that we were superior to them. This competitiveness has to go. We are reassured on a daily basis when we cooperate with others, when we recognize that others, and we, are on the same wavelength, that we are equal in the sight of God as His children.

I used to be quite competitive. I remember telling a friend at work, after lunch one day that we had enjoyed together, what my goals were in work. They were ambitious. She responded, “Don’t get too far ahead of us,” meaning the others in the reference unit.

She was right, because she sensed that my ambition would be a divisive factor in our close-knit working group. And I never did fit in well with that particular group. I had to go on to another before I found acceptance and peace in my working environment. And get more steeped in A Course in Miracles.

When we recognize that all of us are held in an embrace of love and unity, as One, we are recognizing what is true. And this truth will save us. Our relationships, holy now, will give us solace and keep us safe. Competitive no longer, we join in a camaraderie borne of cooperation. We are finally living right, and our comrades in work (and elsewhere) recognize this change in us. We are one of them, in every sense of the word. When we acknowledge equality, we are accepted and even loved.
This does not take away from the fact that we may have experienced Christ-consciousness, and not all others in our circle will have done so. This only means that we have walked a little farther along, not that we are better than another.

It is necessary that we share what we have discovered as soon as our brothers and sisters express interest in knowing what makes us different. Holy relationship invites sharing.

And we feel better for easing another’s way, even ever so slightly.

A WAY OF LIVING

Note: Published in the September – October 2019 issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene, your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. (ACIM, COA ed., W-155.1:1-4)

. . .[Y]ou will cultivate a way of being in the world that is not here. That is, it is not within the perceptual mode that makes up the world. (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Lesson 14, Page 177)

This Treatise [on Unity] is attempting to show you how to live as who you are, how to act within the world as the new Self you have identified. Just like learning how to swim, it is a new way of movement. (ACOL, T2:4.4)

“There is a way of living in the world that is not here. . .” An especially sweet passage, but we must beware of letting egoic patterns in. This statement is not saying that we are “special.” We have no gifts that will not one day be shared by everyone.

It is comforting to know that we can find others with similar persuasion about in the world. We can walk happily, as we incorporate the tenets of Jesus’ channeled writings in our lives. Already many of us have had moments of recognition that someone in our world is walking the way that we choose to walk. Sometimes we see Christ in their eyes, an especially wonderful miracle when it occurs.

We become aware of these others of like mind when we are looking for it. Mostly, perhaps, it is a matter of eye contact. It is like a secret society. But especially know that we cannot let specialness enter in, or we lose the concept entirely. All will come to walk the world this way, eventually, and it is our function to bring that day closer.

If we have not experienced this way of living in the world that is not “here,” then let us pray together for this blessing to come upon us. God will not delay, for we are asking in His Will. He wants this way of walking the world to become the way of all. He wants us to move in a “new way of movement,” like swimming, living as the new Self Whom we are pledged to become.

Here on Earth We Can Have Blessings Formerly Known after Death

These examples of your former ideas about new beginnings have simply been used to demonstrate why you cannot approach this new beginning as you have those of the past. What will assist you most, as the translation of the old thought system for the new continues, are the beliefs that you adopted with the assistance of ‘A Treatise on Unity:’

You are accomplished.
Giving and receiving are one in truth.
There is no loss but only gain within the laws of love.
Special relationships have been replaced by holy relationship.

What we are adding now to these beliefs is the idea that these beliefs can be represented in form. (ACOL, T3:15.14 – 15.19)

We are being led, ever so gently, to a realization that here on earth, in our physical form, with our good mind and heart, we can have blessings that were formerly thought to be ours only after death, on the Other Side. We can now know Awakening or Christ-consciousness, called enlightenment in Eastern religions. It is there, out there, beckoning to us. And it will be a gentle transformation, for Jesus has prepared us, with gentleness itself, in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Previously I have known two instances of Awakening that, unfortunately, did not last because my ego intruded. That is the danger for all of us. We can transition into Awakening, and then have it fail to be sustained, for we are not really ready to sustain it. We need to approach Awakening with an egoless frame of mind and heart, sure that we will be helped. We know more now, for we have weakened and then discarded our egos through Jesus’ channeled works.

If we want to recognize we are accomplished, we need only realize that this is the ideal state. And we have attained it, mystically, before we attain it in form.
As we give, we receive. The giving comes first, however imperfect it may be in the beginning.

If we want to recognize gain without loss, this is ours when we are immersed in love. Always love.

Being immersed in love prepares us entirely for the holy relationship. And it is holy relationship that will ultimately save us.

So these tenets of unity exist in form now. We can enjoy them this side of death.

And all will be well.

Invite the Warmth of God’s Closeness

The holy relationship has been accomplished by the joining of the mind and heart in unity. (ACOL, T3:15.10)

The first and most important relationship is with the Self–the inner Christ-Self–and God Himself (called the Self in Its largest dimensions). When this relationship is formed anew and aright, it changes everything. Our heart and mind are melded into one, and this one is the same One with Whom we are merged in the Godhead Himself/Herself. With this joining of heart and mind, we are primed to have all good things to come to us. We are, at last, on the right track, “separate” from God no longer, even in illusion. And we are not in illusion any longer, but the supreme reality, true reality, a reality that does not fade with each passing day.

When mind and heart are joined, I feel a warmth that is not of this world. I once was accosted at night by a stranger who did not mean me well. Just before he touched me, I felt a Warmth that gave me a tremendous sense of safety and God-given care. And this sense carried me through the experience without any trauma. I ran and I screamed, and he fled. My voice and God’s grace had saved me. In that moment, with the warm feeling, I was in unity of mind and heart with that warmth, though this was years before A Course of Love was channeled. I only knew that God had been very, very close to me in that moment.

How do we invite the melding of heart and mind? We get quiet, we invite warmth, we invite God. If we open ourselves to God’s grace, He will descend upon us, prompting us to join mind and heart into a Unity that will solve all problems, release all neuroses, give us a new lease on life.

Be quiet today, just for a moment. A moment is all that it takes to allow God to speak to us in the Unity in which He abides.

Turning to Holy Relationships Does Not Hurt – Ever

The new beginning you are called to now is a new beginning that, like all others that you have offered or attempted, will take place in relationship. The difference is that this new beginning will take place in holy rather than special relationship. (ACOL, T3:15.9)

We have arrived at a good place now. We are beginning anew, as we have in the past, but with a difference. Our new beginning will no longer be housed in special relationships that only promised us the good but did not deliver consistently. Our new beginning, this time, will come in the warmth of holy relationships. We have found the elixir, and we will not turn back from its bounty now.

How do we know that we are surrounded by holy relationships? We are not out for #1 anymore, at least not exclusively. We love others as we love ourselves, for giving and receiving love is one. We know that when we reach out, our reach will be met by reciprocation, for holiness invites holiness. If our reach finds an individual who is as yet only capable of special relationship, we will not be inclined in that direction, because we will know better. Our reach goes out to holiness, and holiness is returned to us. There is no better way to live life.

What about rejection? I have known rejection in my life, but only in relationship that was “special,” in that my ego was attempting to establish a basis for continuing contact that was not the best for either of us. Of course, I did not know this at the time, and the episode was very painful, frustrating, and humiliating.

Now I know better. Holy relationship does not hurt. Its joy is reciprocated, for we know intuitively what relationship to pursue, and which to turn aside. Our guidance does what it is intended to do: It guides. And in the guidance comes a new life of happiness and smooth sailing as well. We walk a pathway that has no stones that invite tripping ourselves up. We walk a smooth pathway.
Just as when we pursued special relationships, our new beginnings now are embedded in our relationships. But what a difference the holy makes! It is simply all the difference in the world. We blossom under the tutelage of holy relationships. And there is never any temptation to return to the special relationship that got away.

This is the advantage in turning to prayer for prompting as to what to do. Prayer does direct relationships for the good of all involved.

A Love that Lasts

Holding on to what you think will meet your needs is like holding your breath. Your breath cannot long be held. It is only through the inhaling and exhaling, the give and take of breathing that you live. Each time you are tempted to think that your needs can only be met in special ways by special relationships, remember this example of holding your breath. Think in such a way no longer than you can comfortably hold your breath. Release your breath and release this fear and move from special to holy relationship. (ACOL, T1:9.17)

We have been trying to hold our breath for eons, hoping against hope that what one special relationship did not give us ultimately can be met by yet another. Our special relationships all fail us eventually. Love turns to hate, and we know not what we did wrong. Always we blame the other person for not living up to the unwritten agreement to be there for us anytime, anywhere. We feel betrayed.

This is a script that has been played out in our various dramas for far too long. The only true assurance that we can have from another comes when we have let our special relationship to that person blossom into a holy relationship. Now we know in our bones that this person will never let us down, that love will stay love and not fall into alienation and even hate. We are holding our breath no longer. We know that the safety that we long to have in a human being can be counted upon. We are safe, finally, and we know it to be true.

This is what happens in long-term marriages that stay fresh. We discover how to mesh our needs and wants with those of another whom we love unconditionally, come what may. We know that if our marriage should end, the love will not; the love is eternal now, and we have this assurance as we live out our time on earth. This world can touch this blessing not. We are living our dream of eternal love, and it is our brother or sister, our partner in life, who makes the living out of our lives truly meaningful. He or she is our way back to God, a holy relationship that promises all things, and keep those promises. Our forgiveness even becomes meaningless, for we recognize that there is nothing we need forgive. The significant other is significant only in that we live in close proximity; we don’t look to the other for outrageous answers. We live and let live, in the holiness which God intends for us.

All of us have seen this love, but perhaps fleetingly. We want it for ourselves. And we can have it when we give up thinking that specialness is our due. Holiness is our due. And with our inheritance as favored children of God, all of us are favored in a holiness that does not play favorites.

Now Is the Time to End Empty Seeking

How much time will be saved by an end to empty seeking? You have already arrived and need no time to journey any longer. (ACOL, T1:8.7)

Most of us have been seekers for a long time, maybe a long, long time. Maybe all our lives, more or less.

This search can end now, when we are on the cusp of developing our special relationships into holy ones. We won’t have to work so hard to maintain our holy relationships. Our loved ones will just know that they are loved unconditionally. And, especially, what we have been seeking in special relationships will fall away.
Our seeking has worn us out. We went from our early religious training, probably to unbelief, and then returned to the fold of spirituality. But still we sought for yet another piece of information that would be the end that would make us happy. But nothing can make us happy, can create happiness for us, except ourselves. We won’t find it in a book.

I sought happiness in special relationships as well as in books. The special relationships were my dates when I was single; the books ranged from Catherine Marshall to Norman Vincent Peale to the Seth material (Jane Roberts) to Richard Carlson to Deepak Chopra to A Course in Miracles to Julia Cameron to Rhonda Byrne. Quite a list we all have! So my seeking in relationships and books was twofold, as is true for most of us. It is very reassuring that we have done enough now. We know enough. A Course of Love has finished it off for us. It is simply up to our Christ-Self, from deep within our being, to teach us more.

So now we are hearing that there needs to be an end to seeking. Jesus, in channeling A Course of Love, declares its information to be an end point. We have arrived! He even says that we are The Accomplished. While we have trouble believing that, we know that we have a peace inside that has eluded us up to this point. This peace will elude us no more. We will linger in contentment, sure that we are in the right place, and, now, in the right time.

Our holy relationships will save us; that is why we need seek no more. Relationship was primary in A Course in Miracles also. Our relationship to our brother (and sister) would take us home. Now Jesus is emphasizing this truth yet again in ACOL. If we love others enough, we will have won the prize, the Holy Grail, of salvation.

And we will know not only peace, but happiness, as well.

Joy Calls

The universe exists in reciprocal relationship or holy relationship. . . .It is a joyful relationship, as the nature of relationship is joy. Once you have given up your belief in separation this will be known to you. (ACOL, C:29.17)

Once we give up our belief that we could actually separate from God, and have done so, much good will result. We will know that holy relationship is the nature of the universe(s), and we will realize that holy relationship does not take anything away from our nearest and dearest. Holy relationship will expand our love to meet the whole world. We will not know the separatism that has characterized our various special relationships, relationships that have often ended badly.

My friend Carol knew what it is like to suffer special relationship, and “suffer” is the salient word here. As mentioned, she once fell very hard into a love that was strong on ego, though she did not realize it at the time. If the special love had ever been transformed into holy, then her sense of desolation at the end of the “relationship” would have saved her from needless regret.

There was something eminently good about the love that Carol felt. It was not a love that would be easily surpassed. That was the clue that something else was going on here. She was being led, ever so gently and before A Course in Miracles was published, to give up her interest in being special (and having someone else be special as well). In retrospect, holiness is the transforming key to relationship that goes sour. And there doesn’t have to be any continuing contact with the other at all to effect a holy relationship. Relationship that is holy is thus seen to be mystical.

We are meant to enjoy joyousness is our relationships. Special love invites the highs and lows of drama, and egoic drama at that. A holy relationship is one that has been dedicated to the Almighty, a Source beyond just our little personality. And this dedication to Something bigger than ourselves is what makes all the difference.

When we feel united with all other people, our brothers and sisters, we know a peace that is not of this world. We are meant to live in unity, and of course, we can see that seeing one small part as more special that another would make this joyous unity impossible.

Ask to see with a greater vision today. Ask to comprehend as never before what a special love transformed into a holy one can really mean. There is no comparison, but until each of us has seen the difference for ourselves, we will remain skeptical that we aren’t losing something in the transformation.

True Love Is Limitless, Knows Only Inclusion

While one special relationship continues, all special relationships continue because they are given validity. The holy relationship of unity depends on the release of the beliefs that foster special relationships. (ACOL, C:25.11)

We don’t need special relationships, “special” in the sense that they are egoic and different from all other relationships out there in the world.

Of course, we don’t believe this. We think that there is nothing wrong with seeing our significant others, our family and friends, as “special.” But what are we really saying here? We are setting them apart as being more “worthy” of our love than other people. Is this not judgment? And haven’t we been warned not to judge? Judging keeps us from Christ-consciousness. Moreover, judging makes us unhappy, for when we point a finger at another, three fingers are pointed back at us. We damn ourselves when we judge another.

I was once rather judgmental, and I projected these ideas onto Jesus, seeing him as a figure of judgment. Indeed, traditional Christian theology invites this interpretation. When I visited the Baptistry in Florence, Italy, where a large mosaic of Jesus looms far ahead on the high ceiling, I saw judgment in Jesus’ eyes. Or thought I did. After years of studying A Course in Miracles, though, my judgments had softened, and when I looked overhead on another visit, I saw a blank slate in Jesus’ eyes, ready and willing for me to write my projection there.

There was no judgment in the second visit. And so there was no “specialness,” even in regarding Jesus. And this was a giant leap forward.

We are seeking to be united with all of our brothers and sisters on our earth. We want unity with them, and we can’t have that if we divide others up into separate little parcels. We can’t fully appreciate all others if we are judging them as less worthy of our love than our nearest and dearest.

Of course, our nearest and dearest have taught us how to love. And now we extend (not project) this love on everyone.

We don’t make distinctions between worthiness and lack of worthiness. We know that all are equal in the sight of God, and that all ought to be equal in our sight as well. Our beloveds will not lose anything. We will be so love-conscious that they will see a new persona in us. They will know a love from us that has been heretofore veiled.

Specialness is a limited love. Holy love is limitless, knows only inclusion.

Being “Special”

Note: I’m starting a new series on relationships today.

“The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric. Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth—the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven. The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness. The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream. Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God. (ACIM, Preface, “What It Says”)

We are used to thinking that finding our beloved “special” is a good thing. For those of us (many of us) who have studied A Course in Miracles, we know that finding loved ones “special” is a mistake. A Course of Love agrees, and so we start these reflections with this quotation from ACIM.

Of course, we care about our significant others more than strangers. And so the teaching may seem foreign to us.

What makes the “special” a good thing is not specialness but holiness. And all of us have the power to turn all of our special relationships into holy ones. We don’t exclude anyone; we invite all in (though not in a physical or sexual sense).
Special relationships are, by nature, egoic. My friend Carol once had a very special male relationship that was platonic but very egoic. She thought that this man had all the qualities that she was seeking in another. But specialness abounded. As time proved, she actually wanted his personal qualities in herself, something that epitomizes ego.

We can and must seek to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. And, as hard as it sounds, we need to stop believing that without the special, we will be bereft. Use of others, A Course of Love tells us, is wrong. And there is a bit of “use” in many of our relationships. Who will take care of us if not this special other? How will we manage?

These are very real concerns, very practical concerns. But we have power. And, if we believe ACIM and ACOL, we will find love wherever we turn, when our heart opens to reveal the love that is hidden there.

We will never lack for anything. Help is a call away. And everything, as both ACIM and ACOL say, is an expression of love or a call for love. Call today, and so if we are not answered. Our heart will know the answer.

We Find Our Way in This World Safely by Acknowledging What Our Heart Tells Us

“And all of these, those who would admit to fear, and those who would not, would still believe that love exists despite fear’s claim upon it, and think that they are lucky to have found a love to shield them for a little while from all the other things they fear. And yet the greatest fear of all is that of loss of love. You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain. For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state? What is loss of love but being left alone?” (C:14.21)

We thought that we wanted to be separate from God; this is part of the theology of traditional Christianity as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Separation would be that we would be independent, on our own, isolated. Yet in the illusory actuality (for we could never actually separate from God, being part of Him) we have been the most afraid of being alone. Try as hard as we can, we still cling, desperately, to the special love relationships that would save us from ourselves—or so we think. So the living out of isolation has actually been the source of our greatest fears.

We fear being alone more than anything because somewhere in our deluded minds is the certainty that we are living amiss, and that a furious God will take revenge on us for denying Him. This is as true for atheists as anyone else, for each of us of whatever persuasion has something in which we put our faith. If this religion is ego-tainted, we will fear all the more, and what religion in our world is not ego-tainted? It is only in giving up our false idols of isolation and separation that we come even close to finding our way safely through this world.

We find our way safely in this world by acknowledging what our heart tells us. And this heart does not require “proof” of God’s existence. It is rightly said that there are no atheists in foxholes (a somewhat outdated reference recalling the first world war). When we get scared about our predicament, we do turn to what we hope will save us. And A Course of Love proclaims that this is the saving grace for what we understand to be our heart. It alone does not seek to have divine proof; it simply knows that we are not alone in all the universe. We are not isolated and independent; we are meant to share our living with others. And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love call these relationships, the “holy” relationships.

Most all of us have experienced loss of love in some form, with somebody. Somebody let us down, we cry. We think that if only this special someone had loved us for ourselves alone, we would be saved. This makes of love a mockery. And it places in our midst a scavenger that would devoir true love. We do not have to pin our hopes on one someone (or several someones) who can save us. We need only rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we are never meant to be alone, that divine love is there to protect and keep us safe. And once we give up the attributes of specialness, our relationships one to another will indeed be holy. We have to give up specialness in relationships, we are told. But the relationships will not be snatched from us, to leave us cowering in the dust. The special relationships turned holy will be a foretaste of Heaven, right here on earth.

A World of Love

“Now, as we reverse this set of circumstances, and replace the world of fear with a world of love, there can be no more weighing of love against fear. God did not create fear and will not be judged by it. All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity. While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God. You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state.” (ACOL, T4:3.7)

We thought that it was protective to have fear in our arsenal of defenses. But did it ever work very well? We got anxious often, but did this really protect us?

We don’t need fear’s protection. We don’t need protection at all. We have no need for defense against anything. We will be warned when we need to do anything to “protect” ourselves because we are in danger of some kind. God does not leave us defenseless; He is our defense, if we ever need to have a defense in this world at all, and that is debatable.

Defenses do what they would protect against.

We thought that fear was a natural reaction, not realizing that it was, instead, evidence of living insanity. We need to replace this world of fear we have made into a world of love, and only then can we relax in the grace that God gives us.

We need to make a definite decision to give up judgment, and this much we can do. We can determine that we will not judge ourselves, others, or God, and we can stand by this as a promise. The world will never again look as dismal. We will have found means to emerge from a world of insanity. We will walk into the light.

Forgiveness

“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)

It is a good question to wonder how we can change from love to fear in our thinking. And the answer is one word: forgiveness. Forgiveness will overcome judgment, and above all we need to overcome judgment of ourselves and our brothers and sisters

We don’t really have anything to forgive, for we are looking out on a world of illusions. Nothing has actually happened at all. We are living a stage play that has no repercussions on our inner essence. Only those things that come from love are real, for God is Love, and His reality is the only true reality.

In the ethos of A Course of Love, we let our hearts find the forgiveness that our minds might deny. Spend a while today in your heart, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in how the day is viewed. We will, if we let our hearts make the decision, find forgiveness of ourselves and others, and thus look out on a forgiven world.

There is no better way to live. Just recognize, when someone attacks you, that they are being insane, that their reaction is pure insanity. And one would not blame a certifiably insane person for the strange reactions that that person exhibits. We would know that the person is not fully responsible for words and deeds, and we would forgive easily.

Our brother or sister who is certifiably sane is due the same response. In the opinion of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the attacking brother or sister is not actually sane at all, but mad in a mad world. And so forgiveness becomes easier for us.

Secret for Staying in This World, but Seeing It Differently

“Think you not that reason opposes love, for love gives reason its foundation. The foundation of your insane world is fear. The foundation of Heaven, your true home, is love. The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)

We don’t have to have blind faith in the precepts of A Course of Love. We are told, “love gives reason its foundation.” (ACOL, C:14.9) We are further told that the foundation of our insane world is fear. And the foundation of Heaven, our true home, is love. It is strongly implied that the way that we look at our world determines whether it is hell or Heaven. The way that we look. That is perception, and we know from A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.

What we feel inwardly will determine what we see in the outer world. And if we are feeling fear, we will see an insane world that is violent and destructive. If we are feeling love, we will see Heaven.

Is this too simplistic? Is this even true? Can the same images that flow before our eyes seem fearful or loving, based on what we are projecting? Yes. For the fearful mind sees more reason to fear, and the loving mind sees with these things only lamentable things, but no cause for fear. The loving mind does not reject the outer world of insanity as not there; it sees that it is there, but it is only illusion, the illusion of insanity. And so it gives that outer, violent and destructive, world no credence.

“The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)

Yes! This is the secret for staying in this world, but seeing it differently. This is the secret of having peace in the midst of chaos. Choose fear or love, and all the world will change according to the emotion that is chosen.

BATHED IN LIGHT

Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine for the July – August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

“. . . [A]nd who can say that he prefers darkness and maintain he wants to see?” (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-25.VI.2:5)

“You stand at the precipice with a view of the new world glittering with all the beauty of heaven set off at just a little distance in a golden light.” (A Course of Love, P:16)

“. . .[B]e bathed in the Light of Reality yet again, seeing that God is what I am. I am God. You are God. Only that One exists. Only the ‘I’ that we share as the One exists.” (“The Way of Knowing,” in The Way of Mastery, Chapter 33)

God is seen in Light not of this world. We must allow ourselves to be bathed in the Light of Reality (as The Way of Mastery says), lost in illusions of the ego no longer (as A Course of Love says). We will then be creating the new world that ACOL encourages. We will see no longer this world we now occupy, for our projections will be different, making our perceptions different, for do we not know that projection makes perception? The current world is often not a place of joy, but the Light will break, and we will see anew, when Awakening (Christ-consciousness) is the experience of all who live here.

We can compare the Light of Reality to the light of this world we now occupy. I have long wanted bright light, especially bright sunlight. Crisp fall days with low humidity give me a new outlook, a prelude to Awakening. I think my Inner Self recognizes that real seeing is only in the light, never in darkness. And in my deepest heart I want real vision. So do all of us.

A Course in Miracles says that when one looks on the world with forgiving eyes, one sees “nothing in the world to fear.” (T-25.VI.1:2) Is this not the new world we will be creating? If we forgive others, we will form the holy relationships that will allow us to see well for the first time, for it is through our relationships that we will be born anew, living in Light not of this world. It is only in looking to the Light within that we know the appropriate response in our relationships. The Light within leads to the light without.

We are only able to see clearly what is without when we have first looked within. Only at that point does our external world appear clear, we know how to proceed, and we walk fearlessly into the sunlight.

Love which Kept Us Safe – and Happy – and Bound to Those We Love

“The desire to protect is a desire that arises from distrust and is based totally on fear. If there were no fear, what would there be to protect? Thus, all of your love—the love that you imagine you keep within yourself, and the love that you imagine you receive and give—is tainted by your fear and cannot be real love. It is because you remember love as that which kept you safe, that which kept you happy, that which bound all those you love to you, that you attempt to use love here. This is a real memory of creation that you have distorted.” (ACOL, C:9.3)

We are not able to use love to protect us, although we often try. The desire to protect ourselves is a fear-based motivation, one that can’t be what it tries to do, keep us safe. We are already safe; we don’t need anything extra to make ourselves so.

We have, Jesus says, a memory of love from eons ago (as the world judges time). Love at the beginning, before the illusory separation, kept us happy and kept together all whom we loved. Somehow, dimly, we remember this true event, and we want some of that same feeling now. We try to find it in fear that comes from distrust. If we didn’t think we were in danger, why would we think at all about being “protected”? We would know that there is nothing that we need protection from, and we would be at peace. So this desire is wholly fear-based. We do love a disservice when we attempt to “use” it at all. Love cannot be used, just as we would be wise not to use each other for our own ends. We are safe, we have always been safe, and sooner or later we will all realize our safety is a God-given gift.

When love is tainted by fear, it is not real love. Unfortunately, most of our love in this world is tainted by fear, and thus we need another way to view love. We need to realize that it is part of the long-ago memory of Oneness with God. Only our attempt to separate from God, with the concomitant rise of the ego, has kept us from real love. Let us decide today that we will be done with all of this foolishness. Ask to experience real love, remove our mind from attempts to use this love to protect your physical body, and see if a better day doesn’t dawn.

Our Feelings in Truth Come from Love

“Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (ACOL, C:5.11)

Jesus forms a startling assertion about love and fear, one that we wouldn’t expect. He says that all of our feelings come from love, in essence because we are not “bad” (C:5.11). ACIM says that we have the “innocence of God” (T-III.17:2), and so Jesus is here asserting to the same thought. How our feelings of destruction and violence can come from love may remain nebulous to us, but Jesus believes that we have just misunderstood ourselves. We have been misguided about how to bring love to ourselves. So we have made wrong choices in our love, choices that gave us destruction and violence.

Do we not often noticed that nobody who is embroiled in violence and destruction thinks that he/she is at fault about anything that is bad? History is replete with wars that were fought in the name of God, believing that one is doing God’s will in the antagonism. This is one way of looking at love gone astray. This is one way to realize that fear has done nothing, that it is only our misperceptions about love and how it ought to be expressed that have done us in.

Our feelings are not bad, Jesus says. We only need to channel those feelings in the right direction, seeing love where it really is, avoiding feelings of destruction and violence, pain and suffering. Then we will find love’s fruits to be our chosen just desserts. We will have taken another step on love’s pathway. Another step toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.

The Christ in Us Is Wholly Human & Wholly Divine

“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. . . .It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is.” (ACOL, C:5.1)
We are indeed blessed now! When we recognize the Christ in us, we are recognizing a joining the human and the divine. And in this joining, we are told, love reigns, “joining. . .ushers in love’s presence.” (ACOL, C:5.1)

All that has caused fear and pain drops away, and we finally recognize what love really is. This is the celebration, when we recognize the Self within, the Self no longer a captive of the ego.

The Christ in us is wholly human and wholly divine, not omniscient, of course, because of our humanness. We are ready to experience true reality in the fullness of the Christ-consciousness (Awakening) that now engulfs us. We may as yet have captured only glimpses of this Christ-consciousness. But the purpose of A Course of Love is to lead us to understandings that will cause the impediments in our psyche to drop away. Jesus wants us to reach Christ-consciousness. A consolidation of awakened individuals is the best hope that we have for a world in disarray, lost in pain and suffering, lost in conflict of one brother and sister against another. But God, we might add, is the omniscient Presence that makes the decision of when we are ready. Thus, there is an indecisive quality about Christ-consciousness and its coming that we can’t predict. Only the omniscient God of us all knows when any one of us is truly ready.

There are things that we can do. Things we must do. We must give up judgments, one of the other. We must give up fear (a biggie). We must give up attack and planning that is not the direct result of guidance. A Course of Love highlights the giving up of judgment and fear; A Course in Miracles highlights the giving up of attack, judgment, and unguided planning. These directives are meant to remove impediments to the coming of Christ-consciousness, and we can all recognize how difficult these directives will be if we don’t have divine help.

We do have divine help. We need only ask. The part of ourselves, the inner part, that is God, will respond. Angels will also come to our aid, for we are not all alone in the universe. Those of us who are in close contact with the Other Side will also come to recognize other entities that move to help us, though Jesus does not point this truth out, in so many words. Jesus has said that he is always with us, always guiding us by the hand. He is our rock, our salvation to a higher world in this world.

We do not have to die to enjoy the benefits of a higher presence directing our efforts.

How Could We Not Have Been Fearful with Doubt as Powerful as This?

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?” (ACOL, C:4.5)

We have often doubted God, and not just in our youth, when many of us became agnostics and atheists because the chronology of Genesis did not jive with evolution. We have doubted that there could be a Higher Power Who could hear our prayers. We wanted to be intellectually honest, but we didn’t listen to our hearts. Our hearts knew all along that we weren’t alone in a fearsome universe.

A Course of Love questions, “How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?” (C:4.5). This lack of love that we felt when we were being intellectually “honest” is a reason to feel fear. What better reason could there be?

Now that most of believe in the Other Side, that channeling is possible and also probable, we are in a different place. Our doubts have subsided, but we still are living the remnants of too much fear. Fear has become a habit for us. And this has to change if we are to live full lives in a new world that we are seeking to create.

When we put away our doubt, we will make substantial progress. Just give the heart a chance to speak to you. You will not be disappointed. This may be the first indication that the Christ Self is coming into its own, in us, in all of us.

Love Is Not Something We Do; It Is What We Are

“You feel you are capable of loving acts of heroic proportions and fearful actions of horrific consequence, acts of bravery and acts of cowardice, acts of passion you call love and acts of passion you call violence. You feel unable to control the most extreme of these actions that arise from these extremes of feeling. Both ‘ends’ of feelings are considered dangerous and a middle ground is sought. It is said that one can love too much and too little but never enough. Love is not something you do. It is what you are. To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to be unable to identify your Self. (ACOL, C:2.6)

We know from the title of this book that being who we are is very important in A Course of Love. And what and who we are, are love. We sometimes see this love as passion, and that is not wrong, just incomplete. We have sometimes engaged in extreme forms of behavior due to our passion, and we have sometimes been fear-prone when we have been doing so. Pure love is not drama; we make a mistake in believing that it is. We think that if we love in an all-embracing way, we will be embroiled in a drama that will take us outside of ourselves.

Love is not something that we do. Instead, it something that we are. We won’t succeed in identifying our Self if we continue to think in terms of doing rather than being. And identifying our Self is what A Course in Love is all about. We are trying to establish a new identity, and the new identity is the source of our being one with God. We have left the illusory separation behind, and we are at one with God, no longer afraid of Him. We don’t have to fear a traumatic experience in those times that we approach God. Like A Course in Miracles says, we will instead have a beatific experience.

Sexual Behavior that Is Not of Love, Is of Fear

“There is only one distinction that need be made: what comes of love and what comes of fear. All expressions of love are of maximal benefit to everyone. While you may, for a while yet, not see that all that are not expressions of love are expressions of fear, I assure you this is the case. Thus any behavior, including sexual behavior that is not of love, is of fear. All that comes of fear is nothing. What this means is that cause and effect are not influenced by what comes of fear.” (T3:19.8)

So love is everything and fear is nothing. If behavior is not of love, Jesus says that this behavior is based in fear. He specifically mentions sexual behavior, and we know that much of our sexual lives have heretofore been more or less a “secret” from God. Not really, but we like to think so. Jesus brings this secrecy out into the open, letting us know that we are not getting away with anything. Our fearful sexual behavior, that is, our sexual behavior that is not love-centered, is actually nothing. It doesn’t amount to anything in any substantial way. It is just a lesser way to spend time.

We are encouraged to let our actions and our behaviors come out of love always. Then we will have no reason to regret. We will be home free in sexual behavior, in particular.

Love Is the Name We Give to Much We Fear

“Love is the name you give to much you fear. You think that it is possible to choose it as a means to buy your safety and security. You thus have defined love as a reaction to fear. This is why you can understand love as fear’s opposite. This is true enough. But because you have not properly recognized fear as nothing, you have not properly recognized love as everything. It is because of the attributes you have given fear that love has been given attributes. Only separate things have attributes and qualities that seem to complement or oppose. Love has no attributes, which is why it cannot be taught.” (ACOL, C:2.4)

We have confused love and fear, and in A Course of Love, we are told that love is everything, fear nothing. Love and fear are the two emotions, and love is fear’s opposite in every way. But understanding these points is not enough, for we have called “love” much that we actually fear.

This is most important to note in regard to special relationships, a topic of great interest in A Course in Miracles also. We actually find fear in our special relationships, the particular others that we seem to love better than other people in the world. These special relationships we fear to lose, for they seem to be everything to us. And this is where the fear is seen most strongly. Only when we have transformed the special into what Jesus calls “holy relationships” do we see our mistakes in making “special” anything in a relationship.

In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that the time has come to give up our special relationships. They have never brought us anything that we truly wanted. They were flawed, borne of fear in a fear-ridden world. Holy relationships, though, are filled with true love. We know that regardless of how much a person might reject us, we will keep on loving. And love all we encounter, though not in physical or sexual terms, obviously. There is a place for discernment, still, in our relationships.

Lack = Fear

“All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear. Where there is fear, love is hidden. Love is rejected when a choice for fear is made. You cannot be without love, but you can reject love. When you reject love, it is hidden from you, because receiving completes giving. Each of your brothers and sisters are love inviolate. What each gives is incomplete until it is received.” (ACOL, C:25.5)

Loving each other, and giving and receiving as part of the same continuum, are mandatory in this world we hope to inhabit. If we are feeling in any way lacking in something that we need, we are in a fearful state that is best left behind. We have everything that we need, for our needs are met at the point that need is first recognized. The universe does provide; the only missing part might be that we don’t recognize that our needs are provided for. This would be a recognition of lack, and lack means that fear has the upper hand. Not something that we want; we don’t want to go there.

We are meant to share with each other in relationship one to the other. This naturally means that nobody will experience lack, for the giving and receiving that we do ensures that our needs are met.

Our brothers and sisters embody love. When this is all that we see in them, we will have walked a long way on the pathway back to God. We don’t need to see weaknesses and a sense of misplaced trust. These are egoic structures in others that are actually illusory.

All of us are strong in the Christ Self. And it is this strength that we draw on when we relinquish fear in favor of love.

Love or Lack of Love

“The heart of the body is the altar at which all your offerings to God are made. All offerings are love or lack of love. Lack of love is nothing. Thus, all offerings made from a place other than love are nothing. All offerings made from a place of fear or guilt are nothing.” (ACOL, C:1.2)

Our relationship to God undergoes a change when we read A Course of Love. He is no longer seen as Someone to Whom we pray for blessings, someone outside of ourselves Who hears our prayers. This type of supplication doesn’t work when we realize that God is within, that we are part of God. Our heart within the body is where our prayers properly reside. This is totally within ACOL’s emphasis on the heart as the center of our new being, the Self. If we are fearful or feeling guilty when we approach God in this way, we are sacrificing our best interests, for we need to approach our inner heart, the God within, in a spirit of love.

Love and fear, the same two emotions that we are considering, become pivotal here. If we approach God with fear, we don’t receive the whole blessing, for we are caught in our ego-mind. The Christ Self does not know fear, for this Self knows only love. And when we are in our right minds, joining mind and heart to form what ACOL calls “wholeheartedness,” we are living in love.

That is the only way to be, the only way to be who we are.

Two Choices

“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (ACOL, T4:1.11)

We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.

We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.

We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.

And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.